It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


The Spirit of the Age

page: 1

log in


posted on Nov, 16 2011 @ 07:52 PM
Since the Middle ages, a great struggle took hold in Europe. The Renaissance had the great minds of the day firmly fixed on the distant past in order to glean truth from ancient teachings such as found in Greek and Roman classical literature.

The Renaissance (1300's to 1500's)

The term Renaissance, literally means "rebirth" and is the period in European civilization immediately following the Middle Ages, conventionally held to have been characterized by a surge of interest in classical learning and values. The Renaissance also witnessed the discovery and exploration of new continents, the substitution of the Copernican for the Ptolemaic system of astronomy, the decline of the feudal system and the growth of commerce, and the invention or application of such potentially powerful innovations as paper, printing, the mariner's compass, and gunpowder. To the scholars and thinkers of the day, however, it was primarily a time of the revival of classical learning and wisdom after a long period of cultural decline and stagnation.

Of course, these types of study which pre-dated Christianity threatened the powerful grip which the Holy Roman Church had held throughout the Middle ages and the great clash between philosophy and theology extended itself over more than four centuries of human history. The gathering storm would eventually lead to the greatest split in Western Christianity.

The Reformation (1700's]

One of the greatest of all revolutions was the 16th-century religious revolt known as the Reformation. This stormy, often brutal, conflict separated the Christians of Western Europe into Protestants and Catholics. So far-reaching were the results of the separation that the Reformation has been called a turning point in history. It ushered in the Modern Age because, once the people's religious unity was destroyed, they began to think in terms of their own regional interests. From the diversity of those interests arose new political, social, and economic problems and beliefs.

The split, regardless of anything the Catholic Church could muster, became permanent and Protestantism began to flourish on both sides of the Atlantic. But the most interesting time was yet to materialize (pun intended):

The Enlightenment (1800's - 1900's)

To understand the natural world and humankind's place in it solely on the basis of reason and without turning to religious belief was the goal of the wide-ranging intellectual movement called the Enlightenment. The movement claimed the allegiance of a majority of thinkers during the 17th and 18th centuries, a period that Thomas Paine called the Age of Reason. At its heart it became a conflict between religion and the inquiring mind that wanted to know and understand through reason based on evidence and proof.

Reason. Proof. Experimentation. The Industrial Revolution. Materialism. If one can't feel it or touch it or smell it or see it... it doesn't matter (pun also intended).

Enter The Material Age

And now we've seen another great revolution beginning in the Twentieth Century and it is every bit just as monumental and revolutionary as The Reformation ever was. We see it play out right here on AboveTopSecret every day when we read one member praising his or her religion and the next member rail against it as if it is a poison that runs through the very fabric of our western society.

Who is right and who is wrong? Or are both right? Is there a place for religion in our materially minded world of machines and computers? Has The Enlightenment been successful in stressing the importance of science to the detriment of spirituality?

I don't think so. I believe that certain elements of spiritualism will survive this Age of Materialism. The answer which I propose lies in something which predates, includes and will survive the possible demise of all religions.

That something is a soul and that spirit has never, in all the ages of mankind, been absent from our thoughts. It can't be weighed, sliced, diced, measured or reasoned about any more that we are able to figure out who or what Diety (ie: God) is.

This thread is to explore the permanence of the Idea of the Spirit throughout all the ages. I will be quoting extensively from Carl Jung in future posts and, in particular, from a short essay he published in 1933 titled:

The Basic Postulates of Analytical Psychology

The ancient view held that spirit was essentially the life of the body, the life-breath, or a kind of life-force which assumed spatial and corporeal form at birth or after conception, and left the dying body again after the final breath. The spirit in itself was considered as a being without extension, and because it existed before taking corporeal form and afterwards as well, it was considered as timeless and hence immortal. From the standpoint of modern, scientific psychology, this conception is of course pure illusion. But as it is not our intention to indulge in “metaphysics”, even of a modern variety, we will examine this time-honoured notion for once in an unprejudiced way and test its empirical justification.

(note: for whatever reason which I cannot, for the life of me fathom, the above essay is only available in complete form online and posted to a Marxist website
Go figure, but I do have the book [Modern Man in Search of a Soul] which contains the above essay)

posted on Nov, 16 2011 @ 08:21 PM
reply to post by masqua

That's All good religion literally became very refined and very power lust-full , but many other reasons Could be that of "The Plague" had spiritually beheaded the metaphor of that of God and religion because really they saw everyone dying with in hours to a few day's really caused an anger with People and "god" . Since Forth called a rejuvenation of the true spirit of Humans of Highest proportions. Without the religious indignation which has been happening to them for almost a 1000 years those in the Middle ages. When things Happen to entire Continents, pain , suffering and death of massive proportions happens . I Believe we Spiritually began to awaken to each other's misfortunes that's what I've been tending to sway towards More and more as Wars, Famine , And UN-justice go on . We begin to avail to a New era Of revolution . Which I see happening today truly but sometimes the one's in charge already know of this so they will try to hinder our quest for the truth. So we that do know the truth can help those that are less Fortunate to seeking the truth can be told by those rightfully an calmly to those that can't seem to awaken , but we can't get mad we can't shove it down there throats they eventually will see the truth because we will never stop trying to tell our fellow man the truth even if they believe we are insane ...

posted on Nov, 16 2011 @ 09:01 PM
Christ is the spirit of the age of reason, as we come out of this dark age of ignorance, or Buddha (awakened).

There is nothing else going on I don't think of any consequence.

I think Terrance McKenna, who loathed organized religion was right that Christianity, properly interpreted and understood most definitely as a "chip in play" here, as we fast approach the Eschaton at the end of time and history.

Best Regards,


posted on Nov, 16 2011 @ 09:33 PM
I think much of the split between science and spirituality goes back to Copernicus and the church.

Before then the scientists and the church worked together. Often times it was the monks who were the scientists seeking a better understanding of the universe.

Somewhere along the line church authorities thought they knew enough about reality to force their interpretations of it on others and declare them as heretics when they disagreed. Since then there's been a pretty big divide between the religion and science. Even in my lifetime I seem to recall the church talking bad on evolution... not so much anymore though. They've even considered the possibility for alien life. The church is changing, but is it too little too late?

Even if religion goes away, spirituality remains. It's becoming more popular to be "spiritual, not religious". Religion is more about following someone else's doctrine, where spirituality is more about self-discovery and realization. The individual is now more empowered to find their own way, much thanks to the errors of our ancestors by showing us that we can't always trust the interpretation of those who came before us.

posted on Nov, 16 2011 @ 09:44 PM
Neither posts above address the fact that the soul was recognized as part of the human psyche prior to the birth of Christianity and remains ingrained in our thoughts long after the Age of Materialism began.

Shamanism, the oldest form of spirituality evidenced within the anthropological record, is alive and well today. One could loosely call it a religion, but it is so varied across the globe and throughout the entire history of mankind that one could say it grew spontaneously in every corner of every continent.

The 2000 years of Christianity is less than 1% of the history of our species and yet the IDEA of the spirit (or soul) is an ever-present constant.

Please explain how that could happen?

Even today, many people believe that there is something other than the flesh, regardless of rampant materialism and a seemingly popular stance that there is nothing beyond the grave. It's an easy thing to make the statement that spirit and soul do not exist, and yet, these same people will believe in all sorts of superstitions such as breaking mirrors, fearing Friday the 13th, picking 'lucky numbers' for lotteries and spilling salt.

Where do all our good and helpful flashes of intelligence come from? What is the source of our enthusiasms, inspirations, and of our heightened feeling for life? The primitive senses in the depths of his soul the springs of life; he is deeply impressed with the life-dispensing activity of his soul, and he therefore believes in everything that affects it — in magical practices of every kind. That is why, for him, the soul is life itself. He does not imagine that he directs it, but feels himself dependent upon it in every respect.

edit on 16/11/11 by masqua because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 16 2011 @ 09:54 PM

Originally posted by masqua
Neither posts above address the fact that the soul was recognized as part of the human psyche prior to the birth of Christianity and remains ingrained in our thoughts long after the Age of Materialism began.

Shamanism, the oldest form of spirituality evidenced within the anthropological record, is alive and well today. One could loosely call it a religion, but it is so varied across the globe and throughout the entire history of mankind that one could say it grew spontaneously in every corner of every continent.

The 2000 years of Christianity is less than 1% of the history of our species and yet the IDEA of the spirit (or soul) is an ever-present constant.

Please explain how that could happen?

Ah, I don't think anyone was suggesting that with Christianity came the soul, or the ever-present awareness of it from the birth of self-aware man, or that Christianity like "invented" the soul, that's funny.

I'm pretty sure that the spirit of truth and reality has remained all the way along, but until Christianity not too many people claimed that they were that very spirit in totality, or had become absolutely and utterly one with it, that was kind of new, but more a discovery of something already latent, in potentiality, nothing more and I don't think Jesus himself would claim anything else.

I don't mean or intend what I'd said to represent an exclusive proposition as if Christianity has a monopoly on the soul, this isn't the dark ages any more.

But the Spirit of the Age, to me that's the same thing as the "Heart of the World". In fact, before I discovered what this thread was all about, I thought it was about ME!

I am the spirit of the age, in Christ Jesus our lord! It's true.

But it's always the same one spirit of the living God as the truth and reality of our existence, the same one, both immanent and transcendant both, may that same Spirit of the Age come of age yet again, in me and you. Amen.

ah.. God Bless.


I wish people would lighten up.

edit on 16-11-2011 by NewAgeMan because: edit

posted on Nov, 17 2011 @ 04:55 PM
You can approach it from two directions -
Logical/scientific - (1)people cannot accept that death is big off. That instead of a person who mattered to them nothing but a worthless pile of dirt remains. We need to think that something must still keep on,some un-extinguishable sparkle of life. Spirit.
Spiritual - kind of self explaining. I believe that there is soul. But there might be a possibility that it is due to (1).
There is a nice story in one of the most mentioned books on ATS, how before we are born an angel teaches everyone what it is all really about. Then angel touches the lips (reason for philtrum) and we forget it all. Probably to allow freedom of choice. Maybe the concept of soul is strong enough to break through the silencing finger

posted on Nov, 18 2011 @ 05:11 AM
Until science can adequately explain consciousness then the idea of the soul will always remain. The stock-stand 'meat computer' explanation does not sit well with most people, so naturally they seek answers from the only source that can provide them. Religion and spirituality.

Within 40 years (max) computers essentially more powerful than the human brain will exist. But will these computers ever display emotions, especially higher emotions such as love? Will they ever be able be able to appreciate beauty. Will they ever genuinely have a sense of humor?

One can say that all these things are hangups from our animalistic instincts, and maybe they're right. But once computers exist that can rival the human brain and dynamically learn, I think we get closer to defining what exactly is the true nature of consciousness, and in turn the soul, than we have ever been before.

Imagine receiving a little robot programmed only with the base emotions human child newborn has. And then raising it as a child. Will you ever be able to teach it to laugh?

new topics

top topics


log in